|Date:||Sat, 03 Jun 2023 02:07:28 +0000 (UTC)|
|From:||Kalikasan PNE via ActionNetwork.org <email@example.com>|
|Scrap all reclamation projects, hold proponents to account — fisherfolk and green groups|
The government must immediately cancel all reclamation and dredging projects affecting at least 27,000 hectares of the country’s coastal areas.This demand was made last June 4 at an anti-reclamation summit organized by the People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (People’s NICHE), and attended by over a hundred fisherfolk, scientists, environmental advocates, and concerned citizens.”We will not stand by idly while these reclamation projects displace communities, devastate habitats, and make Filipinos more vulnerable to climate change. Immediate action must be taken to halt these destructive activities and ensure that those responsible are held accountable for the irreversible damage caused,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and member of People’s NICHE.Also present at the summit were the Sorsogon-based fisherfolk alliance Save Gubat Bay Movement, conservation group One Pawikan, environmental group Nilad Metro Manila Environmental Network, and the national fisherfolk federation PAMALAKAYA.
At the summit, it was revealed by People’s NICHE that 53 reclamation projects were directly affecting over 1.5 million people across the country. Areas like Manila Bay are particularly impacted, with communities reporting a 65 – 90% loss in income due to reclamation and related projects. The group also documented that at least 10 marine protected areas and key biodiversity sites are at risk from planned and ongoing reclamation.Other demands in the manifesto signed by summit participants include the declaration of Manila Bay and other critical coastal ecosystems as “reclamation-free zones” and the removal of armed police and military units in communities opposing reclamation.At the summit, Nilad Metro Manila Environmental Network announced it would be launching the Defend Manila Bay Network as a “step forward” in pushing back against reclamation in Manila Bay. Fisherfolk groups from PAMALAKAYA also announced plans to hold a “coastal people’s SONA” in July to report on the situation of fisherfolk on the ground after one year of President Marcos Jr’s rule. #